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The Art of Catering Food
March 26 & 27, 2023
Orange County Convention CenterOrlando, FL

Conference Schedule



8:30 - 9:00am: Light breakfast & networking

Pick up your badge, visit our sponsor tables & bookstore, network, enjoy light breakfast offerings and get ready for a day of learning at Art of Catering Food.

**Please note that due to the nature of the AOCF program, start and end times of sessions may fluctuate slightly**

9:00 - 9:10am: Welcome to Art of Catering Food (Robin Selden)

The Art of Catering Food's fabulous emcee for the day will say hello, get you acquainted with the run of show and fire you up for a great day together!

9:10 - 9:40am: The New Risotto…Dry Pasta (Charlie Schaffer)

Using the same technique as preparing risotto, you will learn how to prepare pasta dishes that have that creamy texture which is the perfect vehicle for endless flavors and ingredients. This will be a strong menu candidate for your buffets, small plates and plated services.

A sample will be served with this session: Shrimp, artichoke, peas & lemon orecchiette. Contains seafood, dairy & wheat.

9:50 - 10:20am: The Offsite Kitchen (Connor Black)

Logistics of an offsite mobile kitchen. Keeping ovens and equipment on box trucks and how to get power to those. Playbook logistics and how to utilize/ schedule chefs/ temps on site. Setting up passed apps using small convection ovens.

10:40 - 11:10am: Salads…Who Needs Lettuce? (Jay Varga, Joshua House)

This session will be based around everything salad. Whether it’s for a station or the starter course to a plated dinner, this course will give creative ideas and twists on salads without using lettuce as the main ingredient. Jay and Joshua will present and plate four to six deliciously different salads in 30 minutes.

A sample will be served with this session: Sesame crusted Ahi tuna salad with wasabi caviar pearls. Contains seafood & dairy.

11:15 - 1:00pm: Lunch & Learn—Tacos: Deconstructed, Reimagined and Elevated for Wow Experiences! (Paul Buchanan, Keyon Hammond, Roy Porter, Phuoc Vo)

Tacos have definitely evolved from a deep-fried hard corn shell filled with ground beef and shredded lettuce. Moderated by Roy Porter, join three skilled chefs (Paul Buchanan, Phuoc Vo, and Keyon Hammond) as they broaden your approach to tortillas, fillings, and toppings! First, the tortilla: a canvas gently holding your composition together—where flavors, fillings, and toppings coverage. Next, pointers on different proteins; lamb, chicken, fish, pork, vegetables, tofu, and more. Finally, explore options of fillers plus preparation and technique including several cultural influences from around the world which have propelled tacos to new levels and bragging rights! But wait, there's more—this isn't just a "learn"—this is a Lunch and Learn, so grab a plate, build your new favorite taco (or three) and enjoy lunch with your colleagues.

Sponsored by American Lamb Board

Three different tacos will be served during lunch (two lamb, one vegetarian) plus salad and dessert. Gluten free and vegetarian options available.

1:20 - 1:50pm: Truck Packing 101 (Jason Sutton, Connor Black)

Catering chefs not only bringing some of the best food to venues near and far, but they also bring a trunk full of equipment that would make Inspector Gadget jealous. Jason Sutton will give you an in depth look at how Footer's Catering has been able to retrofit their box trucks to being portable kitchens and prep spaces. Also learn how utilizing space is your biggest advantage when it comes to profitability in your rental department. Keep your warehouse running lean by maximizing the capabilities event chefs have onsite!

2:00 - 2:40pm: Zero Waste Prep: Designing a Menu to Maximize Time & Profit (Mark Ellis, Thomas Pardo)

The current labor shortages and skyrocketing costs make complete utilization of all resources more important than ever to stay competitive and profitable. This seminar will show a variety of techniques and formulas we use to make sure that we have zero waste and maximize all production time in the most efficient manner possible. Examples will include (but are not limited to) 

• Butchering & sous vide techniques that allow more portions from each filet and use for a wider variety of menu items; similar techniques for salmon will be discussed

• Thanksgiving prep and ways to cross utilize scraps to actually pay for the turkeys

• Calculations to ensure that the correct amount is prepped for buffets, with no over-prep

3:00 - 3:45pm: Beyond Basic: Doughnuts = Dollars (Nettie Frank)

They’ll never be untrendy. Doughnuts will always have a place in the hearts (and stomachs) of consumers. These tiny totables, from savory to sweet are a welcome addition at almost any event. Join Celebrity Chef Nettie Frank, the Queen of Doughnuts via her award-winning Beyond Glaze Bakery and new cookbook of the same name as she shows you interesting techniques, details, and ways to infuse extra dollars via unusual ingredients (think CBD) into your bottom line via these circular delights.

A vegetarian sample will be served with this session containing dairy and wheat.

4:00 - 5:00pm: Networking Reception & Nettie Frank book signing

Join your colleagues for networking and libations and end the day discussing all you've learned. Visit sponsor tables, explore how to become an ICA member, and exchange contacts with new friends made. Say hello to Chef Nettie Frank and have your copy of Beyond Glaze signed!

Attendees of Art of Catering Food are able to enjoy recipes from all of the chef presenters—a benefit of attendance! Here is your link to the recipes from Day One and Two.